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Brooks Ritter’s version of Rock of Ages is great. I first heard of brother Brooks on Shai Linne’s Lyrical Theology Part Two Doxology Album. On the album, Brooks is featured singing an amazingly beautiful rendition of the Doxology. So when I was praying about a hymn to post for this weekend, the Doxology with Brooks Ritter came to mind. But, then I happened upon some of his (Mr. Ritter’s) other tunes; and, voila, Rock of Ages.

A hymn that ‘timelessly rocks’ (totally intentional pun), Rock of Ages, was written by Augustus M. Toplady in 1776. Toplady was a pretty interesting man (as many devoted followers of Christ are), who lost his dad when he was very young, which left him to be raised (and spoiled) by his mom. Apparently, he was very intelligent (as a young lad)- preaching his first sermon at 12, and writing hymns at 14 (wow).  He was known for being a wee bit obscure (another, seemingly, common trait among many devoted followers of Christ- yours truly- included) and even a little obstinate, and yet, obviously by the words he penned, he loved the Lord deeply. Sadly, Mr. Toplady lived a short life of only 38 years.

Here a brief word about the creation of the hymn that I found on line,

“Toplady was a staunch Calvinist, and a very outspoken opponent of John Wesley’s Arminian theology. In 1776, two years before his death, he wrote an article on God’s forgiveness. The purpose of this publication was to rebut statements made by Wesley. The article concluded with Todlady’s poem, Rock of Ages; a poem that would many years later find its way into the very same hymnals as many of John’s brother, Charles Wesley’s (Arminian) songs.”

I think Brooks Ritter’s version is beautiful. I hope you like it.

Happy Saturday.

 

 

 

Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee;
Let the water and the blood,
From Thy wounded side which flowed,
Be of sin the double cure,
Safe me from wrath and make me pure

Not the labor of my hands
Can fulfill Thy law’s demands;
Could my zeal no respite know,
Could my tears forever flow,
All for sin could not atone;
Thou must save, and Thou alone.

Nothing in my hand I bring,
Simply to Thy cross I cling;
Naked, come to Thee for dress;
Helpless, look to Thee for grace;
Foul, I to the fountain fly;
Wash me, Saviour, or I die.

While I draw this fleeting breath,
When mine eyes shall close in death,
When I rise to worlds unknown,
See Thee on Thy judgement throne,
Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee.